I attended Waterville Elementary School, and I understand the intangible value that small schools bring to small towns. I believe that each community knows best how to educate its children and that we must write our school legislation with small towns in mind.
Small schools provide many benefits beyond their academic role. These schools have been shown to foster more stable mental health in children and are particularly important for providing a safe, comfortable, and close-knit community for children with challenging home environments. In a small town, the school is often the heart and soul of the community - a place to meet neighbors, gather for social events, and support the town’s next generation. I believe in the intangible value of small schools, and that each community should have the ultimate say as to whether or not to close their school.
I believe in local control of schools, as each community understands best the needs of its own children. I have worked hard to understand the legal details of Act 46, in order to enter the legislature in a strong position to vouch for rural towns like Cambridge and Waterville. One of the reasons that I’m running for the legislature is because there is a lack of representation in these discussions from people who attended small, public, Vermont schools. This voice is desperately needed in deciding on education issues!
As a young person who would like to live this district for decades to come, I am extremely concerned about the high rate of property taxes. I recognize that school budgets in Vermont are characterized by a constant tension between needing to practice fiscal responsibility and wanting what is best for our children. I believe that the most effective way to stabilize school budgets is to reign in the cost of health care in Vermont. The FY19 school budget for LUMS/LUHS included $1.4 million for employee health insurance - this is >10% of the total budget! If we make health care less expensive without compromising care, then we can address our costly school budgets while maintaining high quality classroom experiences. Please continue on to the next page to learn more about my specific views on health care.